Besides its epic narrative of the Kurukshetra War and the fates of the Kauravas and the Pandava princes, the Mahabharata contains much philosophical and devotional material, such as a discussion of the four "goals of life" or purusharthas (12.161). Among the principal works and stories that are a part of the Mahabharata are the Bhagavad Gita, the story of Damayanti, an abbreviated version of the Ramayana, and the Rishyasringa, often considered as works in their own right.
Traditionally, the authorship of the Mahabharata is attributed to Vyasa. There have been many attempts to unravel its historical growth and compositional layers. The oldest preserved parts of the text are not thought to be appreciably older than around 400 BCE, though the origins of the story probably fall between the 8th and 9th centuries BCE. The text probably reached its final form by the early Gupta period (c. 4th century). The title may be translated as "the great tale of the Bhārata dynasty". According to the Mahabharata itself, the tale is extended from a shorter version of 24,000 verses called simply Bhārata.
Krishna pronunciation (help·info) (Sanskrit: कृष्ण Kṛṣṇa in IAST, pronounced [ˈkr̩ʂɳə]), literally "black, dark blue" is the eighth avatar of the Vedic Supreme God Vishnu in Hinduism. The word Krishna means one with dark complexion and one who attracts all. The name Krishna appears as the 57th and 550th name of Lord Vishnu in Vishnu Sahasranama of Mahabharata. The name Krishna is also amongst the 24 Keshava Namas of Lord Vishnu which are recited and praised at the beginning of all Vedic pujas in Hinduism.
Bhagavata Purana depicts Lord Brahma, Lord Shiva and Bhumi (Mother Earth) with all the gods (devas) approached the shore of Ksheera Sagara (the ocean of milk) and worshiped Lord Vishnu by reciting the hymns of Purusha sukta, requesting him to appear and advise to the solution for the calamities and atrocities being tolerated by Bhumi (Mother Earth) due to huge number of demoniac kings prevailing on planet earth in that time, as a solution to which, Lord Vishnu himself descended as Krishna to eradicate the evil forces.